Eleanor Cross

Lincoln Eleanor Cross – launch of project

On Tuesday a meeting was held at St Catherine’s church at South Common to launch the Eleanor Cross project for Lincoln. The original Eleanor Cross was destroyed during the English  Civil War although a fragment of the base still exists in Lincoln Castle.

Philosopherontap is going to cover the whole project but in the interest of getting some info out there quickly here are a couple of video interviews taken at the church on Tuesday.

The first is with artist Alan Ward and the second is with the parish priest Father Ian.

A 2 Z

Lincoln A2Z R14 – Canwick Pits

What do you think of when you hear the words Canwick Pits? Crap innit? Canwick, it’s the pits. It’s not really. The pits are a quarry where much of the stone used in walls around the very ancient village of Canwick was sourced.

Lots of history to Can wick. That’s the cool way to pronounce it by the way. Can – wick – two separate words. The first people to roam Canwick were hunters and gatherers in the Mesolithic period approximately 8500-5300BC. The first settlers arrived in the Neolithic period, approximately between 4500 – 7000 years ago, and then a more structured settlement came here in the Bronze Age, with a Barrow cemetery near the river Witham. I got that historical bit from the internet. Google it. It’s not my own original work. Plagiarised though not in a bad way. I’ve added value to the original copy.

I’m not going to go into any more detail either. There is a lot to read. It’s been around a long time and that is all we need to know for the purpose of this discourse.

I’ve not actually visited the pits at Canwick. Not even sure you can, though it might be one of those “former” quarries where people can walk the dog or ride mountain bikes or just go for a bit of a walk. Usually there is a lot of interesting wildlife to observe – fauna and flora. I’m thinking rabbits and butterflies with the occasional bird flitting by. Then a few flowers in the long grass.

Possibly it is a place where lovers go. Somewhere for a discrete cuddle away from the prying eyes of nosy villagers, curtain twitchers and tongue reporters. Telephone calls made expressly for the purpose of spreading the news. The same people see their husbands out on the drive on a Sunday morning, polishing the car, nipping down to the newsagent for a copy of the Mail on Sunday, maybe.

Gah. I get my stone from B&Q. That isn’t really true. I don’t buy stone. I got a barbecue from there recently but now I’m straying off the subject.

R14 – Canwick Pits. You know it makes sense.

A 2 Z

Lincoln A2Z – C19 Hykeham Sailing Club

A life on the ocean wave.

Land Ho

Riding along on the crest of a wave

Splice the mainbrace

Shiver me timbers

In search of the North West Passage

The sun is over the yardarm

Bermuda triangle



The white hot sun beat down on the water, its glare blinding the weekenders that had turned out for a sail. There was not a breath of air and the sails on the small boats struggled to fill, the occasional lifeless flap offering little grounds for optimism.

They sat at the edge of the water waiting. Occasionally someone would get a cold drink out of the picnic bag. It wasn’t a bad way to spend the afternoon. Although there was no sailing it was too hot to do anything else and dangling your legs in the water was a good way of cooling off.

As the heat of the day died away the barbecue lit itself and the beers came out.

A 2 Z

K13 Sir Francis Hill Primary School named after Lincoln historian

When you drive south along Tritton Road and you get to the Chieftain Way trading estate there is a school on your left. It’s one of those things you notice but don’t give any though to.

Well you should. Not specifically because of the school but because that school is named after one of Lincoln’s most famous historians, Sir Francis Hill.

Wikipedia tells us that Sir James William Francis Hill CBE (1899–1980) was a British solicitor and leading historian of Lincoln and Lincolnshire. He was the third Chancellor of the University of Nottingham. He also served as a Councillor, Alderman and Mayor of Lincoln.

I am somewhat saddened that there is very little information about him on tinterweb. There will I’m sure be something archived in Lincoln but he predated the internet. Sir Francis wrote three books on the history of Medieval, Georgian and Victorian Lincoln which if you like that sort of thing, which I do, are definitely worth a read. Worth buying even I’d say.

I refer to him very formally as Sir Francis but I did find a reference to him on google books where he was called Frank Hill and discussing the fact that he started writing the Medieval book in the 1920s which is interesting. I assume that his friends called him Frank. I don’t imagine his wife calling him Sir Francis do you?

I’m going to stick with Sir Francis out of deference.

As far as the rest of K13 goes there isn’t much to say. It touches a couple of trading estates and part of Tritton Road runs through it as I have already said…

A 2 Z

Lincoln A2Z P17 Bracebridge Heath

Hi Y’all. Randy’s the name. I’m from Alabama. Doin the United Kingdom to discover ma roots. I’m jest here fra long weekend so gotta cram as much in as a caine. Ma great great granddaddy was from Brace bridge Heath so soon as I got off the plane in London I jumped in a cab and came straight up. Caint be that far I thought. Well let me tell you your English taxi drivers charge a mint. Cost me a few hundred of your British Pounds but I’m here now I guess. Stayin at The White Hart Hotel.

I asked the girl behind the desk the way to Brace bridge and she very kindly gave me a map. Best way is to jump in a cab she said. I said after my first experience with cabs in your country I ain’t taking another one so I said I’ll walk. Caint be that far. Never walked anywhere before but my mind was made up.

It sure was jest a little bit further than I bargained for but ah got there in the end. Up Can wick Hill and then hang a right until I got to Can wick avey new. When I got there it was nearly midday and I was getting jest a little bit peckish. Ok mighty peckish if I’m goin to be totally truthfull. I got the the end of Can wick avey new and what did a see but a Homestead. A good ole ornery homestead jest like they used to have in Alabama. What’s more that Homestead did good plain Amurucain food. Steaks, burgers, BBQ chicken. Why it sure as heck reminded me of home and ma granny’s cookin.

If I had to pick a fault it would only be that there were no grits on the menu. I asked the waitress and she looked at me as if I was from another planet so I didn’t push the issue. I would also have been nice to have unlimited refills because the glass my coke came in was pretty small but I figured after the grits incident I’d better hold ma tongue.

After lunch I spent a wonderful 15 minutes walking around. I found that the place used to be a mental hospital. Maybe ma great great granddaddy was a doctor? Weel I finished Brace bridge Heath and headed back to the Homestead to ask them to call me a cab, I done enough walking for another year.

I’m home now, Back in Birmingham, Alabamy that is. The hotel told me to catch a train. I guess after seeing Brace bridge I didn’t have much time for anywhere else. I spent the rest of the trip resting in my room and in the hotel restaurant. I guess some day I’ll have to come back and see your Cathedral and Castle.

Have a nice day y’all.


A 2 Z

Lincoln A2Z W18 Branston Old Hall

I have to be honest with you I know absolutely nothing about Branston Old Hall. Nowt, niet, dim byd o gwbl – that last bit was in Welsh in case you are wondering. I wouldn’t want you to think that Welsh was ever natively spoken in the area because I’m not sure it ever was. However I am Welsh and there has clearly been some population movement from the West of the British Isles into the general Lincoln area at some point in history.

One might ask what therefore qualifies me to write a piece for Lincoln AtoZ on the subject. Well here’s the rub. They didn’t say I ever had to have been there though something in the deepest recesses of my memory banks tells me I might have been there for a wedding once but how do you expect me to remember the details. It was a wedding for goodness sake. They all pretty much fade into one and it has been some considerable time since I actually went to one.

Apart from my own wedding the one I do specifically remember was that of Ian and Michelle Reid. The do was somewhere between Lincoln and Scunthorpe – we got there on a coach. The reason I specifically remember it was because our table was supposed to have eight people but only four made it to the “breakfast”. One couple that to leave with their little boy because she went into labour in the church and another person had to bow out because she had the flu.

So there we were on a table for eight but with only four people present. We all had two bread rolls, two starters, two glasses of champagne, two puddings and best of all, knowing their friends well, the bride and groom had very generously laid on six bottles of wine for the table. It was made even better by the fact that one of the people on our table was driving!!! What a night. I’m surprised I remember it at all.

Anyway that wasn’t Branston Old Hall. A cursory glance using Google tells me Branston Old Hall was built in 1735 by Lord Vere Bertie. Sounds like a character from a Jeeves novel doesn’t he? After the Enclosure Act of 1765 he was the largest landowner in the area. His land stretched as far as the River Witham. That’s all you’re getting because frankly I’m not interested in doing any more research on this subject. Google it if you want. It’s easy enough.

Arrivederchi (lots of Italians around here innit? – population movement and all that)

chinks the art gallery

Train at the High Street level crossing in Lincoln pulling in to Central Station

Train at the High Street level crossing in Lincoln pulling in to Central Station. One day they will build a tunnel and we will no longer see the level crossing in action. When that day comes the passing of the level crossing, if I can put it like that, will not be lamented. The barriers seem to be down more than they are up which causes congestion, both automotive and pedestrian.

The train is an East Midlands Trains operated service, comprises of two coaches and is typical of the type that runs as a commuter service between Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

A simple chink in the curtain of the life of Lincoln in 2013.

A 2 Z

Lincoln A2Z P2 Riseholme Park

P2 is an interesting plot to cover. I was going to write about the fact that the Lincoln RFC junior rugby section trained there before the end of the cricket season made more of the Lindum ground available.

However in checking to see whether the rugby pitches were actually in P2 I came across far more interesting things to talk about.

First of all the A2Z map suggests that the park ends at Riseholme Lane. A look at Google maps in satellite view shows a long avenue of trees that cross the lane and beyond into territory not marked as Riseholme Park.

Clearly there was a time, when the park was laid out, when the grounds were more extensive than today. A quick Google reveals the following:

Riseholme Hall was built in the middle of the 18th century by the Chaplin family. Formal tree planting and the lake were already in place by 1779, but by the early-19th century the south park had become more informal. In 1840 the estate was sold to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, to become the Palace for the Bishop of Lincoln. The hall and park were re-modelled and a new church was built.

The Bishopric (I assume there was more than one Bish in the time) was clearly still a powerful entity in Victorian times for the Bish to have such a large pad. Worra life.

The estate was sold in 1887. It was later bought by the County Council in 1945. In 1949, the Lindsey Farm Institute was opened. 1

Today the park forms the site of the Agricultural College of the University of Lincoln as well as hosting an Inland Revenue Training Centre.

Balls are sometimes held at the Hall. I once went as a guest to someone’s school bash but I have to say it was a dull affair. To save costs the entertainment was a jazz band put together by some parents and they weren’t particularly good! A second school ball but for a different school redeemed the place and on the hot summer’s evening we were able to enjoy the views of the park out across the lake.

That’s all for now. Tune in again for another Lincoln A2Z by Philosopherontap.

1 source

A 2 Z

Lincoln A2Z S12 sewage works

What is there to say about a sewage works? Not much. Horrible smelly places I imagine though I’m not speaking with any authority. Mine is merely a biased view built on ignorance and a willingness to make judgement without any real evidence.

I haven’t even been to this sewage works though I have driven past. It’s not the sort of place you stop at to take a closer look. A necessary evil and not something to dwell upon. Yuk.

After all we all know what sort of stuff gets processed at these places. I’m not going to elaborate. Your imagination is already running into overdrive though if I were you I’d move on mentally as I did in the car.

People must work at these places. Hey, a job’s a job. I wonder whether they leave the house in a suit in the morning, kissing their wives who hand them a briefcase containing their packed lunch. When they get to the office, the sewage treatment plant, they change into a boiler suit with helmet and rubber gloves. They don’t tell the wife. Probably say they work for the council or at a solicitors’. After all what girl would want to be at a coffee morning with her pals and chat about what hubby was going to be doing today when hubby was cleaning gooey blockages from the feeder pipes.

At night on the way home they do the same in reverse. Probably make up some story about someone at the office. “Old Reg he’s a real card you know”. Funny how they never have a Christmas do with wives invited at this solicitors. Every other solicitors’ does. What was the name of the firm again?

I once went on a sewer tour in London. Wouldn’t want to do it again. I was wearing double rubber protection all over. When climbing down the ladder to the sewer my nose developed an itch and I scratched it with my gloved hand. At that moment I realised what I had done. The ladder was wet with sewer “water”. Nightmare.

It would not be fair of me to leave S12 without finding something nice to say about the plot. After all sewage works do perform a useful public service and the circles that appear on the map are actually quite artistic. That’s it though.

S12, sewage works, yuk.


duck eggs in Lincoln market

Quite appropriate that they sell duck eggs in Lincoln market intit duck?

I have never, to my knowledge, eaten a duck egg.

Duck eggs are larger than those of chickens but not as big as an ostrich egg. It is logical that it should take fewer duck eggs to make an omlette.

According to Wikipedia eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.

Ducks can fly though that has nothing whatsoever to do with their eggs. I am not aware of a duck ever having to lay an egg in mid flight, perhaps to jettison some weight and regain altitude. Should such an eventuality ever occur then it could prove awkward for anyone under the flight path.

A duck egg is more likely to equate to the “free range” egg in the chicken world as they are not typically battery farmed1.

My favourite Chinese dish is crispy duck. There used to be a restaurant in Lincoln called Seelys that I particularly liked and  they used to serve duck breast in ginger sauce. Yum.

Duck down is used in continental quilts, pillows and high end sleeping bags.

The classic word used to represent duck “speak” is “quack”.

I like ducks.

The term  duck is used to represent the act of lowering one’s head to avoid being hit by an object, fixed or in motion.

Donald Duck is a Disney cartoon character. Daffy Duck on the other hand is by Warner Brothers. I prefer Daffy to Donald, sorry.

The term Donald Duck is sometimes used in Cockney rhyming slang, or at least it feels as if it should be.

There are many different types of duck. Ducks like water.

1 this is pure speculation mind you and not based on any real knowledge of the duck “manufacturing” industry.

the art gallery

the fruit and vegetable stall

Now then children, how many different types of fruit and vegetable can you see in this photo? See if you can count them all.

It’s a very tidily laid out stall in Lincoln market at the Cornhill isn’t it. Why don’t you make a drawing of the stall. It’s got lots of nice colours you can use to make your picture pretty.

Look at the prices. They are very good value aren’t they? Tell your mummy to buy her fruit and veg from the market. It’s much cheaper than Tesco.

the art gallery

Drinks at the Strait and Narrow in Lincoln

Another in the series of shots taken of drinks behind the bar of a pub. This time it’s the Strait and Narrow on Steep Hill in Lincoln. The pub has a huge selection of beers and spirits including my fave Timothy Taylor’s Landlord.

In my mind it isn’t the best pub in town partly because it’s down the hill and partly because it is too big. A pub needs to be intimate, cosy. I guess it has its market.

On a different note when I was there last Friday evening I do believe I managed to recruit a stone masonry correspondent for Philosopherontap and have possibly also identified a railway engineering correspondent. Stay tuned…


The fridge runner

The extreme sport of fridge running as demonstrated at the Lincoln 10k race. Fridge running is a latter day phenomenon, largely because the refrigerator is a relative new invention in the timeline of the modern era. One hundred years ago, or less, the only means of maintaining food at low temperatures was the simple pantry. This was at least the case for the majority of the population whose gardens were too small to accommodate an ice house.

Whilst the pantry had some benefits, not the least of which was that it was a large walk in store that would be pretty cool (pun intended) in a modern kitchen where space is often at a premium it was totally impractical to carry around on one’s back.

This is where the modern fridge excels. As well as keeping food colder for longer than the pantry, provided the seal is not compromised, it  is easier to strap onto your back for the purpose of fridge running. In this scenario the running performance is not compromised by the state of the seal  though a mouldy seal is undesirable for cosmetic purposes. The problem is easily overcome by the light application of a proprietary cleansing cream that is easily wiped off leaving the rubber seal as new.

Fridge running is an elite sport with few exponents. To some extent this is due to the immense physical strength and endurance required of its participants but also because it does demand an element of eccentricity that characterised the mad dogs and Englishmen of midday sun fame you have to be a nutter.

There is considerable strategy involved in fridge running. It isn’t just a question of hoiking the fridge on your back and running. The strategy adopted will vary by length of race. Long races conducted in hotter than ideal conditions offer the opportunity to stock the fridge with supplies of chilled liquids (not beer – beer is not recommended for fridge running unless it is for the benefit of supporters positioned along the route or for resale to spectators as part of the commercial opportunity generated by the growing interest in the sport).

Clearly a balance has to be struck between the problems associated with carrying a heavier fridge and the benefits brought to the runner by it’s contents.  This is very much an individual judgement and no attempt is made here to define the optimum load set.

I hope you enjoy the video. Please take the opportunity to watch other random Lincoln 10k snippets on my YouTube channel. None are as interesting as this but you might see someone you know:)

Ciao baby…

the art gallery

4 pints of Timothy Taylors Landlord poured at the Strugglers Inn in Lincoln

4 pints of Timothy Taylors Landlord poured at the Strugglers Inn in Lincoln. Landlord is the king of beers and the Strugglers a perfect palace in which to reside. A great place to go for a beer in front of the fire on a winter’s evening. Look out for more pictures from the Strugglers in the Art Gallery.